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Old 10-04-03, 11:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lethbridge - Snakes' habitat threatened


Web Posted Oct 3 2003 02:06 PM MDT

Snakes' habitat threatened
Lethbridge - Reptile biologists are in Lethbridge this weekend to talk about ways to help snakes in southern Alberta co-exist with people.

Prairie rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes, bull snakes, and garter snakes all live in the Lethbridge area.

Reg Ernst is an ecologist and one of the organizers of the Western Reptile Symposium and says the only snake which is dangerous to people is the rattlesnake. He adds it is very rare for a person to be bitten by a rattler.

"The hospital maybe gets one or two bites per year and probably I wouldn't think there would be an average of one a year in Lethbridge."

Ernst says there has never been a case of anyone dying from a prairie rattlesnake bite.

Urban development is the biggest threat to snakes because creeping subdivisions are destroying their habitat, and encourages more studies to find out how humans and snakes can co-exist.

"With the subdivision comes busier roads which are a real hazard to rattlesnakes. They get run over quite often they end up in people's yards and sometimes people take things into their own hands and destroy the snakes, although I think we've gone a long ways to addressing that problem."


It would be nice if we could all live together.
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